Archive for January, 2014

Vanilla Chiffon Roll

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When I was young, my mother would sometimes make jelly roll…not often, but I remember that the shallow baking pan she used was called a jelly roll pan in our house. I remember her trimming the edges of the flat cake to make an even rectangle for filling and rolling. I don’t remember the cake being filled with anything other than a thinnish layer of jelly. Jelly roll seems like a thing of the past…I never see it any more on restaurant menus or in stores.

Although I have two “jelly roll pans,” I’ve never made a jelly roll, so I was looking forward to baking this recipe from Baking With Julia. The cake is a sponge cake batter lightened and leavened with lots of beaten egg whites, spread into a thin layer in the baking pan. The baking took about 5 minutes longer than the 10-12 minutes the recipe indicated. It came out of the oven light and fluffy and then deflated by about 50%, the better for rolling.

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This rolled cake has a walnut chocolate mousse filling instead of the jelly that I remember. The chocolate is fairly subtle, with the walnuts predominating in flavor and texture, a surprise as I think of mousses as having a smoother texture. Although it involved a lot of steps and required about every pan in the kitchen, the results were pretty amazing. It’s a recipe that can stand on its own without the cake.

The cake and filling rolled up easily and nicely. We didn’t wait for the two hour chilling, but tried it after about a half hour. Decorated with sieved cocoa and confectioners sugar, it was pretty and enticing. The recipe says that it serves six, but portions that size would have been 3″ thick slabs, much too decadent for a cake with so many eggs and so much heavy cream. It was delicious, maybe even better the next day, fully chilled.

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This is half of the chiffon roll.

The recipe can be found on pages 277-279 of Baking With Julia. You can read about the experiences of other bakers with this recipe by following their links posted on Tuesdays With Dorie.


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Country Bread

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Home baked bread, eaten while still warm, slathered with butter, accompanying a hearty soup on a cold winter evening…what’s not to like? Country Bread is dense and sturdy, full of flavor and texture from whole wheat, rye, and white flour. It takes a couple of days from start to finish (unless you get started before dawn or want to eat it at midnight, by my calculation.) The procedure includes making a sponge that requires a six to eight hour rest at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. So it requires some planning, although not so much active time.

I’ve always admired artisan bread that has a pattern of the weave from the basket or banetton in which it is formed. Not owning a banetton, I lined an oval basket with a kitchen towel rubbed with flour, amazed by the quantity of flour that was absorbed. My loaf came out of the oven with just a slight ghost of the basket weave pattern…but that was enough.

The half cup of rye flour in the sponge really called to me to add more rye flour to the dough, so I substituted a cup of rye flour for a cup of the white flour, possibly adding to the density of this loaf. Oh, and if you try this recipe, beware of adding the second yeast/water mixture to the dough while the mixer is running. I had yeasty water splattered all over the mixer, counter, and floor.

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This bread was fun to bake, but my go-to recipe for a rustic bread will still be the Pane Integrale in Jim Lahey’s book My Bread (similar to this recipe on the Sullivan Street Bakery website.) The recipe for the Country Bread is from Baking With Julia, on pages 136-137. Bakers participating in the Tuesdays With Dorie bake and blog project have posted links to their blog posts at Tuesdays With Dorie.

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